In Verse Proportion; Chapter 127, Slade 208

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 127:  Slade 208
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Brown 236

Joe’s talk about an arms race got Slade thinking:  could you stay ahead of it?

In particular, Joe was working on wings and propellers, which were going to be parts of a basic airplane design.  Meanwhile, he was about to unveil a basic prototype automobile engine, and it wouldn’t take much effort to bring down the weight and increase the power to make it suitable for an airplane.  As he had said to Joe, these would almost certainly be put into military use fairly quickly.  The earliest use would probably be looking at enemy fortifications and ground positions, and heaving small bombs out of the cockpit.  Somewhere in the back of his mind, that struck him as a funny word for what they were building, and given that the females of this world seemed less restricted than their human counterparts, it wouldn’t surprise him if they called it a henpit, or at least perhaps a birdseat.  But it wouldn’t be an English word anyway, so it didn’t really matter much to him.

Back on point, once there were airplanes flying military missions, someone was going to want anti-aircraft guns.  They probably had the basic technology for that already, they just hadn’t designed anything because they didn’t really have the basic need.  But along the same lines, to this point the limit on the size of guns had been pretty much that someone had to be able to push gunpowder and a slug down the barrel.  He remembered a bit of trivia, that the Battleship New Jersey had gun decks that fired shells as large as Volkswagons, and although to do that you needed a very complicated loader, there was no reason why this world couldn’t start designing long-barreled guns with very large gauges and assisted loading systems to fire very large slugs, or even scattered shot, several miles.  He would have to bring it up with the weapons development people in engineering.

Of course, they were quite busy working on automatic loading systems based on Zeke’s guns.  That was good, though--it would help with the designs of these bigger weapons.  On top of that, whenever the next term came (and he was a bit unclear about that, given that the seasons were about twice as long as those back home) there would probably be another increase in class size.  In fact, already there was additional student housing under construction in anticipation of the influx of new students.  The university was becoming a major center for science and engineering.

One day, after Slade’s morning combat session, Zeke happened by.

“Congratulations,” Zeke said.

“For what?” Slade replied.

Zeke blushed a bit.  “I hope I haven’t spoiled someone’s surprise.”

“No, you have got me curious.  What is it?”

“It’s the new building.  They just broke ground.  It’s called, if I’m translating it right, The Bob Center for Mechanical Engineering Studies.”

He was indeed surprised by this.  “I--I honestly had no idea.”

“Well, apparently they needed more space for the engineering department, and they recognized that this was due to your contributions, so they wanted to recognize you.”

He smirked.  “Well, they’re probably going to have to build a Zeke Center for Advanced Weaponry, and a Joe Center for Electronics, before too long.  But I guess I’m flattered.  Speaking of advanced weaponry, what do you think about anti-aircraft and long-range guns?”

“Well, maybe too soon, but might get them thinking that direction.  I mean, it might be years before the Cap’n has a plane in the air that can fly more than the length of the park.”

“True.  On the other hand, I’ve noticed that thanks to our help they are moving everything forward very quickly.  I think they’re likely to have airborne systems sooner than we think.  In fact, what do you know about rocketry?”

“Not a heck of a lot.  I know that they were talkin’ about usin’ it for carrying bombs, and I think the Germans had built something, but anything in that area was pretty secret where I came from.”

“Right.  Rocket science.  Well, I’d bet Joe knows something, and he’s been in space so maybe he would be willing to help with a space program.”

“Space program?  You mean, like send people to the moon and stuff?”

“Yeah, eventually.  But I guess first we’ve got to get them off the ground.  Who’d have thought that we’d be trying to teach birds to fly.”

Zeke laughed.  Slade smiled.

Next chapter:  Chapter 128:  Brown 237
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #456:  Versers Prepare.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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